Pages 30 and 31

Paul de Ville continues his set of exercises called “Shading” which, in contemporary terms, would be called “Dynamics”. These are tied whole note studies. The goal is to attack at piano with a crescendo to forte followed by a diminuendo back to piano. They are excellent studies and if played consistently will develop great embouchure control. My only criticism is that they appear much too soon in the book. Even players with several years of experience will find it very difficult to attack a low C at piano. Exercise No.29 is mechanical and focused on improving the B to C fingering.
The next section “Exercises on Time” is a set of seven studies designed to teach counting. These cover Common Time, 2/4, 3/4, and 6/8 meters. Paul de Ville introduces this section by saying, “The Student will now observe the values of the notes.” So are we to assume that counting wasn’t required in the first 29 exercises? De Ville has included counts written under some of the notes. His system does not include a method of beat subdivisions. As a beginner I could not begin to understand rhythm until I was taught a clear system that divided beats in halves and quarters. (1,2,3,4. 1, &, 2, &, 3, & 4, &, 1,e, &, a,2,e,&,a,3,e,&,a,4,e,&,a).
In my opinion, the first 50 studies of this method should be written like a beginning band method. The exercises should include long notes with rests to develop embouchure strength, familiar melodies and the basics of meters and counting. Advanced players could skip this section, but the beginners would be given enough foundation to approach the more difficult studies.
“Exercises in Slurring” begins on page 31. These are the type of exercises that have made this a great method. They are relatively easy, but if repeated often and with increasing speed, will develop solid technique.
Comments, as always, are welcome.
Neal Ramsay
fingering chart negative

Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 6:52 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Your blog has made very interesting reading!
    It is a wonder that someone hasn’t updated this book by now. There are so many GOOD things in this method, that it would be great to eliminate all the out-of-date material and keep the valuable exercises and repertoire.
    Keep ’em coming.

  2. I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case, great info…I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

  3. There’s good info here. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog. Keep up the good work mate! 🙂

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